Our Fall season of after-school programs started yesterday at Forestville Elementary School. Class was our exclusive, seamless blend of STEAM SEL activities (blending science, technology, engineering, arts, math, and social and emotional life skills).
After some warm-up exercises in order to “get the sillies out” and foster self-regulation, we got to know each other with our Creative Introduction process. As students introduced themselves, they told each other about their strengths and about things that are hard for them to do. Students learned very quickly that they are each good at something unique, but that many of them share the same challenges. It was one of our ways to build a sense of community.
Then it was on to our activities for the day. Forestville Elementary School will be undergoing renovation in the Winter of 2015, so our theme for this year’s after-school program is all about Building and Engineering. Students were Demolition Engineers yesterday, busy finding ways to effectively knock down the old school to make way for the new building. To do so they built and tested catapults and wrecking balls.
Shooting a catapult
Catapults were even more fun because we loaded them with marshmallows. The free-form of the iSchool process allows for creativity and innovation. Every student followed an example to get started, but then experimented with modifications to improve on the design. We also tested the effectiveness of the catapults – in a hard-to-believe-way. Here is a direct quote of something I said in class: “Girls and Boys, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but we are going to throw marshmallows across the room. Let’s test what gets the marshmallow further – our arms, or our catapults.” Needless to say they embraced that challenge. And to boot – students cleaned the floor before class was over!
Watch it fly!
Our other activity was to make a wrecking ball. They naturally gravitated towards making LARGE wrecking balls. This activity was a bit more challenging because students had to make the stand for the wrecking ball and figure out out to make them sturdy and balanced plus they had to figure out the mechanics of the wrecking ball itself – getting it heavy enough to knock something but not so heavy that it broke the stand.
Creating a stand for the wrecking ball
Students were so engaged in the activities that they were not ready to leave. Thanks parents for waiting! See more pictures on our Facebook feed.
Want your child to have these types of STEAM SEL experiences? We still have room in our Forestville class and we may be opening up a third class. Register here. Sorry, our Aldrin location is FULL!